Chapter 64974246

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Chapter NumberXIV
Chapter Url
Full Date1881-04-23
Page Number0
Word Count1062
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)
Trove TitleThe Golden Link
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Phillip Armstrong and James Kingston met each other frequently during the next few days, sometimes at Sam Carter's, sometimes at Mr. Bolton's, and sometimes in the neighbourhood of Throwaway Creek, where Edith Armstrong

and J anet Carter were fond of strolling whenever an oppor- tunity furnished itself. But the two young men merely nodded to each other without speaking.

Janet had a poor time of it, for cousin James continued in the sulks, and she was compelled to give up the idea of getting him to be agreeable ; and she began to wish that cousin James and Phillip Armstrong were both miles and

miles away.

At last she resolved on a bold step. She would speak to Phillip and ask him to do his best to make cousin James

more at his ease.

Phillip laughed and consented to do as she wished.

" I half expected this," he said, " and thought of a plan to make it all up. Sam has told me that he believes Mr. James has been on the point of speaking all the week, and if he does not take it he deserves to lose you altogether."

Janet blushed and looked curiously at Phillip.

' ' I mean what I say, Janet ; and it is because I am in earnest that you can count on my help in the matter. "

Then he told her his plan ; and when she had heard it she clapped her hands delightedly, at the same time ex- claiming

" Capital ! capital ! it's just like you, Phillip."

And so it happened that, a day or two afterwards, Janet Carter, cousin James, Edith Armstrong, and Phillip, found themselves walking in the direction of "The Caves," a couple of large and picturesque recesses in the side of a mass of rock, near the head of Throwaway Creek, and com- manding a beautiful view of the surrounding scenery.

Somehow or other, cousin James found himself talking to Edith Armstrong, and gradually the conversation became of such an absorbing character that he did not notice Janet and Phillip wandering away in a totally different direction through the scrub, which in this part was rather dense.

I Suddenly, looking around him, cousin James exclaimed

" Why, we are all by ourselves ; where is your brother I and Janet ?"

Edith was prepared for the question, but not so thoroughly that she could prevent a tell-tale blush from rising to her


"It's just like Phillip," at last she said; "I have no doubt he is up to one of his wild larks and expects us to run about and tire ourselves in trying to find him and Janet.

" Suppose we do nothing of the kind," replied cousin James, ' ' but sit down here till they are tired of waiting for us and want to go home."

As he spoke he led Edith to a small piece of rising


" You are not afraid of snakes, are you ?" he asked.

"Certainly not j but I own they are very undesirable neighbours."

Cousin James made some further remarks, and when Edith bade him come and sit by her side he complied with her request, but seemed to have lost all his courage and to have become completely dumb."

Edith preserved a demure expression, but there was a twinkle in her eyes which showed she thoroughly enjoyed the fun of the whole thing.

For a long while neither of them spoke a word, but sat with their eyes fixed on the slowly widening bed of the creek, along which trickled a tiny rill, very unlike the fierce torrent which, impetuously bore all before it in times of


Had cousin James glanced behind him he might have seen four laughing eyes steadily watching him from behind the mass of bush which crowned the little eminence on which he was seated.

Suddenly feeling that he must say something, he remarked,-" If they have their fun why not we ours ?"

Edith scarcely knew what to say, but, after a short pause, she abruptly asked,

" What made you quarrel in the billiard room the other evening ?"

The words made him start, but there was no answer.

And then she felt she had made him start, and she went on, but it required all her courage to say,

" I think it was very foolish of you to get angry about a little thing like that ; you see Phillip did not at all lose his temper until you called him a coward."

This was too much; the poor fellow was almost crying, and, half wildly and very quickly, he said,

" I was almost mad, I think, but I could not help it.

I loved Janet, and-and-and, I was afraid she loved your

V>i>i~»f.Yiot« "

He had spoken at last, but he dared not raise his face, for he felt half ashamed of his confession. When he did at length look up he beheld, not the features of Edith Armstrong, but of Janet Carter. With a bound he sprung to his feet, and all his fears and troubles passed away in an instant as the face of the girl he loved fell gently on to his shoulder, and as he put his arm around her, and, slightly stooping, kissed that soft blushing cheek, the voice of Phillip was heard shouting merrily,

"There, Mr. James, if I have unknowingly caused you trouble I have done my best to make it up."

Cousin James did not refuse the offered hand of him whom he had supposed to be his rival, and a few minutes afterwards all four - Janet, Edith, James, and Phillip, were laughing and talking together as if there had never been such a thing as a quarrel or an ill word between the

two young men.

Cousin James suspected the nature of the trick which had been played upon him, but he did not feel in the least annoyed ; he merely pressed more fondly the hand of Janet as the party retraced their steps in the direction of home, just "as if nothing had happened;" although Sam Carter, when he saw Cousin James and Phillip " doing the agree- able " to each other hardly knew whether he was awake or dreaming.